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Saturday 1 April 2023 Dublin: 9°C
The 9 at 9 CETA, Russia retreats and Twitter uncertainty

LAST UPDATE | Nov 11th 2022, 8:55 AM


Here’s all the news you need to know as you start your day.


A seven-judge Supreme Court will today give its judgment on a challenge by Green Party TD Patrick Costello against the constitutionality of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (Ceta) between the European Union and Canada.

Ceta is primarily designed to reduce tariffs and increase trade between the two regions.

The agreement was reached between Canada and the EU in 2016. It came into force provisionally in 2017, but all national parliaments in EU countries need to ratify the deal before it can take full effect.

2. British-Irish Council

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that following his meeting with the UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak this evening it is clear the UK Government is keen on getting a negotiated settlement done on the Northern Ireland Protocol

Speaking to reporters in Blackpool where both leaders are attending the British-Irish Council Summit, Martin said it was agreed that with elections in Northern Ireland pushed out, there is now a “good window of opportunity here to get this issue resolved”. 

Sunak said he was committed to strengthening UK-Irish ties and wanted to find a “negotiated solution” to the Northern Ireland Protocol.

3. Suspected Wexford Tornado

The goverment has been called on the extend an emergency humanitarian support scheme to rural Co Wexford communities hit by a suspected tornado earlier this month.

Last week, a local famer told South East Radio that a “path of destruction” was caused in parts of the Foulksmills and Clongeen area of Wexford due to what looked like a tornado.

Alan O’Reilly of Carlow Weather told The Journal that while tornadoes are “usually small scale events in Ireland and short lived”, they can “produce severe impacts in small areas”.

4. Twitter chaos

Elon Musk has warned Twitter employees to prepare for “difficult times ahead” that might end with the collapse of the social media platform if they cannot find new ways of making money.

Workers who survived last week’s mass layoffs are facing harsher work conditions and growing uncertainty about their ability to keep Twitter running safely as it continues to lose high-level leaders responsible for data privacy, cybersecurity and complying with regulations.

That includes Yoel Roth, Twitter’s head of trust and safety — a previously little-known executive who became the public face of Twitter’s content moderation after Musk took over and who had been praised by him for defending Twitter’s ongoing efforts to fight harmful misinformation and hate speech.

5. Ukraine

Moscow announced it had begun retreating from Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson as Kyiv said it had recaptured a dozen villages in the strategic Black Sea region.

“The Russian troop units are manoeuvring to prepared position on the left bank of the Dnipro river in strict accordance with the approved plan,” the Russian defence ministry said.

Ukrainian officials have remained wary since Moscow signalled late yesterday that it would pull forces from the west bank of the Dnipro river in Kherson, in what would be major Russian setback in a region Vladimir Putin claimed to have annexed.

6. Banking

Ulster Bank is to begin freezing current and deposit accounts from today. 

In a statement, the bank said that the first customers who received their six-month notice in April will begin to see their current and deposit accounts frozen on or after today, with the accounts to close 30 days later.

The bank announced its withdrawal from the Irish market in February.

7. COP27

A junior minister has said it would be “wholly unacceptable” for this year’s United Nations climate conference to fail to bring action that delivers help for countries hit by climate-caused tragedies.

Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid Colm Brophy will today become the third Irish minister to attend COP27 in the coastal Egyptian city of Sharm El-Sheikh, where negotiators have been tasked with hammering out new climate commitments.

A crucial priority for campaigners and many countries is the issue of providing supports to alleviate losses and damages experienced by vulnerable countries because of the climate crisis – though resistance from some delegations meant even getting the item on the agenda was a battle.

8. Waterford

A man has died eight days after he was allegedly assaulted in Co Waterford. 

Gardaí confirmed the man in his 20s died at Cork University Hospital earlier today. 

In a statement, gardaí said that they had responded to reports of an alleged assault on Barrack Street in the town of Tallow at about 12.35am on Wednesday, 2 November.

9. Lobbying

Dozens of former high level government officials have gone on to work for organisations involved in lobbying after leaving public office, in many cases lobbying their former ministers, departmental colleagues and senior departmental staff, Noteworthy can reveal.

An analysis by Noteworthy of tens of thousands of publicly available lobbying returns made over the past seven years, has shown for the first time the extent of lobbying by former senior public officials in Ireland.

Under the Regulation of Lobbying Act (2015), anyone who communicates with a public official or politician – called designated public officials, or DPOs – about laws, policies and practices, or seeks to have them changed, must register as a lobbyist and file returns three times a year.